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Insect Theme Dominates Fashions With 'Ant' Look

Bosoms Balloon, Waists Wander In New Attempt for 'Simplicity'

By Laurence D. Savadove

Even in intimate contact with the swing of civilization, the kings of couture have this year anticipated the predicted conquest of the world by the insect kingdom in a flood of fall fashions that imitate the ant, burlesque the beetle and copy the katydid.

This is what the fashion-conscious Radcliffe girl will wear as both New York and Paris, miming modern living with styles the rage of a quarter and half century ago, are inflating hips, deflating waists, and elating connoseurs of costume. Skirts have shrunk, blouses have balooned, and poodles have passed. The fad follower will wear green and love leather. In a bucket hat, barrel coat, and a beer bottle silhouette, she will look like nothing so much as a walking Schlitz ad.

The theme of the season is back to nature. Clothes that cling are quite the thing. If nature gave you nothing to cling to, new girdles and heavy belts that push protoplasm where it belongs are also available. In a burst of remarkable reason, designers have decided to cover this nude look with coats that bellow out from the shoulder in barrel or bell forms and wander vaguely down to a faltering stop somewhere between the hip and knee. A tight skirt carries on from there, giving the overall effect of a candle being snuffed with a tin can.

The ant shape, developed in the buggy bistros of Paris, brings back the high, tight neck, the billowing bosom, the pinched waist, the flaring hip, and the slinging knee, thus incorporating the best features of fashions of the gay nineties and roaring twenties.

Fabric Keynote

Fabric is also a keynote this year. The ruling thought is to make wood look like cloth, cloth look like fur, and fur look like fabric. Dacron has coped the crown from rayon, nylon, et al. Poodle cloth is indistinguishable from persian lamb, and the glittering sheen of furs resembles satin more than sable.

Still relentless in the effort to adopt all male garb to female garments, this year's long coats are simple overcoats with the shoulder pads on the hips. Leather has risen from the ranks of shoe, belt and glove material to decorate wrists, necks, pockets, hem-lines, and hats.

The other popular passion is peek-a-boo mink. Couturiers advise a "blush of mink" to peek out from cuffs and high necks. A pelt or two in an "exciting" spot will turn the trick.

Shoes, it seems, are shoes, and ever more will be so. Stockings are seamless, in a noble effort to appear like no stockings at all. Handbags steadily grow larger. Suits, too, are ant-shaped, with zoot jackets.

Tinted Furs

In evening wear, all stops were pulled out. Skirts have demurly lifted to reveal delicate ankles and web-work sandals set on spikes. Bat wing sleeves, an innovation of last year, are still with us. Not satisfied with strapless gowns, designers have also plunged necklines to various abdominal levels. Below a minute waist, festooned by yards of boucle bouquets, skirts ooze out and out. Other designs use the flat front and blossoming behind. Anything goes.

To add to the color of the season, furriers now offer pink mink, lavendar lamb, cerese seal, and blue beaver. And the clouche is the clue to top notch top nobbing.

Apparently, it is as the sages of sartorical splendor claim--the movement this season is toward simplicity.

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